On April 10, 2010, Neighborhood Partnerships staff traveled to Washington, D.C. for the National Low Income Housing Coalition’s (NLIHC) Annual Conference. We were kept busy– we won an award, attended a meeting of other statewide coalitions, learned about changes to federal policies related to affordable housing, and met with our congressional delegation.
First up – our award! The Oregon Housing Alliance won the first ever NLIHC State & Local Organizing Award for our work in 2009, an honor which we shared with Oregon’s Community Alliance of Tenants. Read all about it here! Senator Jeff Merkley, who is quickly becoming the go-to-Senator on affordable housing issues, also spoke at the conference the day we received our award. Senator Merkley called for significant new investments in housing through new vouchers and the National Housing Trust Fund.
We learned about federal legislation related to affordable housing: The continued campaign to fund the National Housing Trust Fund is in high gear. The National Housing Trust Fund would bring nearly $15 million to Oregon to serve very low income households! Read more here. Potential changes at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development through their Transforming Rental Assistance initiative are also moving forward; and we learned more about what was included in the President’s Budget for housing.
We also visited Capitol Hill to meet with our Oregon delegation.
While on Capitol Hill, we talked to our delegation about what’s going on in Oregon related to preservation of affordable rental housing and federal rent subsidies; how we hope to protect tenants living in foreclosed properties; and what changes to federal law would help us work more effectively here in Oregon.